As with all good things, the Singles Going Steady Series has been an attempt to showcase 45s of note, from all decades of the rock and roll era but most of them come from the late 50s to mid 80s till i grew tired of collecting them and didn't for 10 years, till getting a new turntable enabled my interest of seeking out the 7 inch black circle that has been a fixture of this life for over 50 years.
When I first started doing 45 blogs I eventually turned it into an every other month sort of thing, not to toot my own horn but rather take note of all the singles that are still out there and still can be found. This year I must say has been the best year of finding 45s in the CD era, which goes back to 1987 mind you. In my youth, going to Woolworth's and doing the 4 for a dollar special (later 3 for a dollar) gave me a wide variety of songs out there and in the late 60s bought a lot of them on name association. Back then not too many folk gave much thought to Jimi Hendrix or The Doors to which I still have most of them tucked away for safe keeping, with a sleeve on to preserve them for the next owner who ends up getting them from me after I check out.
While the Singles Going Steady series didn't bring much in terms of ratings they did manage to do better than So It Goes series to which after two blogs of that, I retired that. What a lot of you may not known is that I have quietly gone back to the archives and added some illustrations and pictures to certain top tens, it's fun and it may appeal to those who continue to scour the archives of previous top tens and what not. By that little maneuver the ratings have taken a upward trend and thanks to those contributors whose pictures on Google that made the blogs look better in a convincing fashion. Which is why the SGS series is coming to an end, a lot of the top ten picks actually were forty fives in themselves. In short, the 45 will never die here at the Crabb site. We may never see them back in the top thirty section at the local Target or Wally World but I'm sure we'll hunt them out at the local junk shop, or record store or Half Priced Books within eyesight.
(3rd street resale picture deleted, no longer here)
To which we give kudos on our final SGS post to local store 3rd Street Resale in the New Bo District, a place that in 2008 the Red Cedar River took out with a epic 31 foot flood. But they have hung around and continues to be in the same area that was flood affected. An antique store I came across them last weekend with a big collection of 45s, some may been in the flood itself and I may have picked one or two of them in the process but for the most part all looked okay, some were played and some still sound like new. But even in this day and age they had some hard to believe 45s, one of them was part of that last top ten of the week, I let you guess which one. But in the final analysis a bit of history was found, so late in this day and age of music but enough for me to comment about them.
1. The Teen Commandments-Paul Anka, George Hamilton IV & Johnny Nash (ABC Paramount 45-9974) 1958 A period piece upon itself, it just might be one of the freakiest things to ever come out of that area. Corny lines like Turn away from unclean thinking, if you wanna drag race go to Indianapolis etc etc. Bill Givens provides narrative it says but we get to hear the youthful Paul Anka, later to be country singer George Hamilton and reggae pioneer Johnny Nash telling about honoring Mom and Dad and to be an engine not a caboose. Now you too can hear this classic in it's glory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZk2Jo43BDI
B side is much worse but done by the Don Costa Singers, If You Learn To Pray. Yeech.
2. I'm Going To Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter-Billy Williams (Coral 9-61830) 1957 A number 3 hit for Billy Williams, originally done by Fats Waller but I'm more familiar with the version done by The Platters. I've seen a few scratched up versions and this one may have been floating on the Red Cedar during the big 2008 flood judging by the way it sounds. Still has a bit of big band sound to this in a badly dated way by Dick Jacobs who was basically house director for most of the Coral pop hits of this time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_hwd8iYgIU
3. Mean Woman-Freddie Fender (Imperial X5659) 1959 I figured y'all might be tired of the pop settings of the first two so I direct your attention to this late 50s rocker from a very youthful Freddie Fender. Originally came out on Duncan Records (Duncan 1000) but Imperial picked up for distribution but at that time Freddie was related to the Tex Mex rock of Richie Valens or Gene Vincent rather than the lite country rock that he would get famous for years later. Original version of Wasted Days And Wasted Nights was the other single that Imperial would issue in 1960. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieE3EAR2CJA
Side Note: My dad was a big Freddy fan of his Before The Next Teardrop Falls LP and he would play that record till the grooves wore off and got another copy. He ended up making these recordings that he would sing along with Freddy in this reel to reel set up that had echo, and of course, yours truly would take over that when the old man wasn't looking and make these crappy recordings with me bashing on coffee cans and screaming bizarre rant and raving songs. I eventually would get better.
Side note 2: the original Wasted Days And Wasted Nights song, Judging by this and an old GRT record of late 50s early 60s recordings called Since I Met You Baby, Fender was a excellent rocker too. Sad to say that Fender was busted on pot charges and this record wouldn't become the big hit it would eventually be in 1975. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpLuzRGS8-c
4. Marching Through Madrid-Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass (A&M 706) 1963 If you grew up in the 60s listening to AM pop radio, chances are you would hear something from Herb and the Tijuana Brass although I don't ever recall hearing this on the radio. Hard to imagine that Herb's tiny little label would become one of the all time best independent labels before Polygram bought them out in the 90s to which you all know that Universal bought Polygram out in 1997 and pretty much booted most of the A&M artists out except for Sheryl Crow, the luckiest musician on the face of this planet. But at that time Herb and Jerry Moss were just starting out and most of the time served as background to whatever Herb would release or Sergio Mandes and Brazil 66 would put out. However another find that day was somebody named George McCurn doing I'm Just A Country Boy (A&M 705) and matrix numbers seem to indicate that both songs were recorded on same day. McCurn, a journeyman pop singer also recorded for Reprise and Liberty in the 60s. As for Herb's version it sounds more like The Lonely Bull Part 2 but has plenty of clogs in the background, just like walking to Madrid. Never seen it on the best of's that I have from Alpert.
5. Strangers-The Platters (Mercury 72129) 1963 I'm surprised there's nothing on You Tube about this song but by then Tony Williams, the voice of The Platters left for a solo career that never took off and Buck Ram continued onward although the hits on Mercury weren't forthcoming. I have heard this song somewhere in my lifetime before finding this. I know my parents had three Platters albums growing up and I do have My Old Flame single since I found that one at Goodwill years ago. Maybe my mom bought this single way back in my toddler years but back then any record that a two year old would get his hands on would be a instant frisbee, those records from my past aren't around although I stuck a Disneyland 45 down the window chute on the old 64 ford thinking it was a juke box. And couldn't figure out why it didn't play.
6. Hello Melvin (This Is Mama)-Sandra Gould (Phillips 40138) 1963
7. The Ballad Of Irving-Frank Gallop (Kapp K-745) 1966
A couple of novelty records, The Ballad Of Irving gets played on Dr Demento when KFMW had his show on the air although my version is a bit rough sounding, Sandra Gould does an answer back song to Allen Sherman's Hello Muddah and the B side her son becomes a surfer which is just as funny as the A side. But she's better known as Gladys Kravitz on the old Bewitched show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5Ki3spZh54 And http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op02actV4oQ
8. Nightmare-Faron Young (Mercury 72114) 1963
Not exactly documented very well it took a while for me to comb through the internet trying to find Faron Young's singles and even 45 cat's discography is incomplete. From what I know, Faron recorded for Capitol up till 1962 and then moved over to Mercury for the next 12 years. I think he had better luck with Shelby Singleton producing his honky tonk faves of the early 60s before Jerry Kennedy took over and added more pop and strings to Faron's songs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uNGR0nRRqU
Don't think I heard this on the radio but it did appear on the Mercury Best Of Faron Young LP.
9. Say That I Won't Be There-The Springfields (Phillips 40121) 1963 Written by Tom but Dusty did the lead vocals. Of course they're better known for Silver Threads And Golden Needles but basically the sound is more in tune with the folk sound that was the rage in 1963. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j-IJyHBomA
10. I'm Not My Brother's Keeper-The Flaming Ember (Hot Wax HS 7006) 1970 This record may have a held over from the 2008 flood, it really plays very rough but since all my copies of said song on various greatest hits sounded bad I had to see if it was the recording that was bad in the first place or the masters weren't well kept, however Rhino's Did It Blow Your Mind Soul Series had a nice sounding version which didn't vary all that much from the 45 itself. Hot Wax was part of the Holland Dozier Holland songwriting gang which ventured out to start their own series of labels Invictus that Capitol distributed and Hot Wax which Buddah Records put out. The Flaming Ember had a lead vocalist that played drums as well and they had a major hit with Westbound #9 and this followup did make the top 30 here but rarely hear anymore. It's also a GD earworm, it's been playing in my head ever since I picked up the single last Sunday and you all know how I feel about the same song played over and over even if I like it it gets annoying and tiring. Better to hear this song in it's longer version which rocks out on the bridge. That got chopped down a lot on the single version. Music Mike has a bit of commentary (and quality audio) on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avk6D7DzeMw